Thursday, 6 August 2015

Cross Stitch

~The handy sewing project for those days/weeks that you don't feel like sewing!

This summer I have found that I don't want to sew anything on my sewing machine.  I don't even want to sit at the desk or even play with my fabric collection!  But hobbies can be a bit like that, they seem to have moods and preferences all of their own.  So instead of doing nothing at all, I decided to see if there was a cross stitch pattern that I might like to try.

And then down the rabbit hole I went!  Have you ever seen the world of Floss Tube?  (It's a # term you can search for on You Tube - go on, I dare you)  It's full of people sharing their cross stitching WIPs, stash, plans and having sew-alongs together.  Most videos are a crafty woman looking at the camera and holding things up to show you something every now and then.  Some of them are really pleasant to listen to whilst stitching, a bit like listening to a podcast, but I can just look up when they say they're about to show you their piece of work.  Some of the videos I have to skip due to the large amount of "Ums", (it's something that jumps out into my ears and I just can't bear) but most of them are enjoyable, some are informative and some could even enable more spending!

So, here is what I am working on this summer: Mermaid of the Pearls by Mirabilia Designs
 I took a photo after each day of stitching, some days I did none, some days not much and some days a whole lot was accomplished.
Sessions 1 - 5

Sessions 6 - 10

Sessions 11 - 15

Sessions 16 - 20

The original design's face just didn't appeal to me so I changed it slightly and much prefer my changes.
I drew the original design on the graph paper to the right,
then kept the chin and lips on my drawing on the left
and drew my own nose, forehead and eye.
Now I am up to working on the armful of treasure.  It's slow going but I am really enjoying it.  Cross stitch is very relaxing and the slow growth and unveiling of the finished piece brings me a lot of joy and satisfaction.

P.S. For my own records:

I have done a Mirabilia Design before (2002) and it is hanging proudly above my bed.  She is called The Dreamer (this chart is now out of print).
She's very peaceful looking and I love all the rich colours used.
apologies for the glass glare


  1. Gosh, I love the Mirabilia designs. I have a few pattern put away that one day I will start. I tend to work mostly on some of the kits that I have and there is always one on the go that I can pick up when I am in the mood. This year, I don't think I have even touched it once, I have had so much going on.

    But I love the idea of taking a photo after each session. You can really see your progress. No matter how little. But then, that's the problem with cross stitch. You can sit at it for 6 hours and come away with the tiniest patch done. :(

  2. Looks fabulous Nessa! I completely understand your comments above about not wanting to sew. I went through a burnout stage late last year & just recently with what's happened in my own life I just can't bring myself to sew. I always have some sort of hand stitching project at hand next to my chair. I'm currently working on a cross stitch for an upcoming swap. A break from the sewing machine is not always a bad thing, sometimes you need a break to allow the creative juices to start to flow again. I've enjoyed watching your progress of this on Instagram. Much love, Fiona xoxo

  3. Totally agree with you about how relaxing cross stitch can be! I've dabbled myself, although I mostly stick to easy patterns which include rude words or references to TV shows :) Nothing as beautiful and intricate as your project! It's lovely!

    1. Thanks Amy!
      I love reading those cheeky subversive stitches on IG!

  4. this is soo beautiful. i have a very (probably) stupid question. I have done cross stitch before but only on aida. how do you stick to a chart if you are stitching on normal fabric?

    1. No problem Jo,
      It's fabric that has a particular number of threads in the warp and weft, so you can see the tiny gaps in-Between the threads. This fabric is 32 count linen, which means there are 32 threads within an inch.
      For each stitch, you come up through a hole and imagine that is a corner of a box. Then when you take the needle to the other corner to create the first leg of your X, you count 2 fabric threads across and two fabric threads up, then poke your needle into that hole. For the top leg of youe X stitch, take the needle two fabric threads across to another corner of your imagined box and come up with your needle.
      Google "cross stitch on linen diagram" to get a visual, that may help more than my words.
      Hope that helps!

  5. That's beautiful! I love what you did to the face!

    1. Thanks so much Marianne, I really appreciate you saying that. I struggled a lot with the decision to stray from the pattern.


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